How Best to Bring Men to Christ
The first business of every sincere minister of the Gospel is to convince men that they are sinners and need a Savior, and every sermon should contain some point that will so impress them. But if his study is simply to please his auditors or display his learning or secure admiration he stultifies his conscience, grieves the Holy Spirit and gives evidence that he has lost the prophetic instinct out of his soul.
It matters not how beautifully he clothes his ideas and deals with everything in Heaven and earth, yet fails to quicken and stir the conscience, he utterly lacks the qualities that win men to Christ.
A dissertation upon some philosophical subject, the statement of some historical incident, the retailing of some remarkable experience the purpose of which is to brace himself up for the stand he has taken to employ repressive tactics and then to appeal to intellectual qualifications as a determining principle wholly aside from deep religious feeling, is extreme folly. It leads to diversion, and not conversion.The Philadelphia Methodist, 1901